Homelessness in London The problem The problem From our experience, it's clear that homelessness can happen to almost anyone. Many people are just a month's wage away from being able to pay the rent or mortgage, and if you experience the death of a loved one, an addiction, a mental health problem or the breakdown of a relationship, the combination can be devastating. On top of this, the stock of affordable housing has been dwindling and the property market in London remains prohibitively high for many people. With cuts to benefits and social housing threatening to upset the balance of lives, more and more people are turning to Glass Door. Rough sleeping is on the rise. 8,100 people were recorded as sleeping rough at least once on London's streets in 2016/2017. According to the Trust for London, this is three times higher than a decade ago. But the official rough sleeping count is just the tip of the iceburg. Many people remain hidden: sleeping on night buses, staying out of sight, or roving from one couch to another. Only about 50% of those who turn to us have been verified rough sleepers, so we can only estimate the true number of those in desperate need of emergency shelter is much greater. The causes of homelessness have changed since this rise began a decade ago. When people turn to their local London council for help, they are increasingly citing an end to their private tenancy as the cause. After a short-lease on a flat has ended, the landlord can increase the rent, and if the tenant can no longer afford the new terms (as is increasingly the case), the individual or family must leave. The lack of alternative affordable housing options is at the heart of much of the rise in homelessness across the UK, but especially in London. We know homelessness can be devastating to someone's ability to maintain their physical and mental health. The average age of death of a homeless man in London is 47, around 30 years below the figure for the population as a whole. For women, it is 43. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has the largest statistical gap between the richest and poorest residents in all of London. Demand for our services continues to grow.